Author Topic: Customer Tracks Mud into our Business  (Read 453 times)

Louisville

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Customer Tracks Mud into our Business
« on: March 15, 2019, 12:02:25 PM »
What would you do?

We own a small gym that is accessible to our members 24/7. We're not a chain or franchise. The business has been in existence since 1995, and we took it over April 2018. It has been doing great. Standard small biz problems, good cash flow, etc. One of us is there about 50 hours a week, though not always the same 50 hour schedule.

We have a very long time member who tracks mud into the gym in the evenings. We know it's him because we have cameras. We were told by the previous owners that he runs trails before coming into the gym. They said they spoke to him about it to no avail. The old owners brought it up briefly in front of him and us during one of our transition/training visits and he just rolled his eyes and didn't comment.

He mostly comes in in the evenings when we're not there. It's not a mess every time he comes in, but it's repeatedly and it's often a big mess. He's not the only member who's ever made a mess like this, but he's the only one who does it over and over.

Now, we vacuum and mop this place and clean the equipment EVERY day, whether it looks like it needs it or not. So cleaning up after the guy isn't really the point. The problem is how it impacts other members. This is a gym - people roll around on the floor, plus just no one wants to see dirt all over the place. There have been comments. The floor is black gym matting.

So, what do I say to this guy? Do I wait until he comes in muddy and I catch him red-handed (mud-footed)? Do I call him on the phone? Do I ignore the situation? I know I need to be polite, but what if he doesn't change his ways after I've spoken to him about it?

Not that it would change my course of action, but it's a point of interest that this guy is middle-aged and an orthopedic surgeon by trade.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 12:08:42 PM by Louisville »

Papa bear

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Re: Customer Tracks Mud into our Business
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2019, 12:12:02 PM »
Get one of those foot cleaner things that have the scrub brushes for shoes.

Then I would tactfully talk with your customer about some of your concerns and how it affects other patrons.  Then thank them for their cooperation.


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Curmudgeon

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Re: Customer Tracks Mud into our Business
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2019, 01:36:51 PM »
Post a set of rules regarding cleanliness.  Warn that repeat violators will face consequences.  Make it easy for him to do the right thing (mats, brushes, etc.).  After a couple warnings, give him the boot. 

Fishindude

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Re: Customer Tracks Mud into our Business
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2019, 02:11:12 PM »
Jeez, it's just one individual.   Call him out on it and tell him he will either need to clean his shoes before he comes in or change into clean shoes for the reasons you mentioned.  If he disregards and continues to make a mess, pull his membership and tell him he'll have to go elsewhere.  You can't have one client creating nasty conditions for all of the other good clients.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Customer Tracks Mud into our Business
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2019, 02:13:25 PM »
If he doesn't change his ways after being spoken to, then fire him as a client.

Wrenchturner

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Re: Customer Tracks Mud into our Business
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2019, 02:27:11 PM »
Do you have a terms of service of some kind?  You probably should, not just for dirty shoes but for other more egregious behaviours.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Customer Tracks Mud into our Business
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2019, 03:13:28 PM »
If he doesn't change his ways after being spoken to, then fire him as a client.

+1

I would speak to him one more time instead of relying on the second hand account of the previous owner. If there was eye rolling, I would rescind his membership on the spot. 

better late

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Re: Customer Tracks Mud into our Business
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2019, 03:32:49 PM »
Could you offer a spot where he could leave a change of shoes? So he wouldn’t have to trail run with extra stuff to carry?
We can’t have you impacting the experience of our other customers but because we value you as a client we’d like to offer you this compromise blah blah
If not, Id go with the posted signage and/then firing

Smokystache

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Re: Customer Tracks Mud into our Business
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2019, 05:10:50 PM »
It can be tough to bring this up with a long-term customer. And yes, one pissed off customer that you "fire" can tell others not to join, can post nasty things on social media, etc. And that is something to think about.

But it sounds like it is bad enough that it is likely pissing off most of your other paying customers. And that's the real damage. They may not renew, they may not recommend your gym as strongly, etc, etc. It may help to shift your thinking from "I can't believe I'm going to fire a paying customer" to "I'm going to protect all of my other paying, rule-abiding customers and hope I'm not too late to do it.

Good luck!

HipGnosis

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Re: Customer Tracks Mud into our Business
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2019, 11:41:53 AM »
You have him on camera, so charge him a cleaning fee every time he does it.